On Saturday, December 2, after the final Euro 2024 draw in Hamburg, Germany, UEFA made an unexpected announcement. Tiktokers will be granted accreditation for the event this summer.
This decision was made by the European Football governing body UEFA but with certain restrictions. Only before and after the matches will TikTokers be able to work in the mixed zones. UEFA has announced a new communication plan that shows how the communication and entertainment sector is evolving and attempting to keep up with the times.
The decision has only come now because, in the past, TikTokers were not seen as trustworthy media outlets and because TikTok was not as influential as it is now. The primary focus of Tik-Tokers’ content creation is a specific subject.
In this case, it’s football. Interactive Q&A sessions with the players, music trends, interviews, and a host of other activities are some examples of the kind of material they may offer on the platform.
Of course, from a journalist’s point of view, the decision was very unexpected. Maria Soler, a 22-year-old Spanish journalist, expresses her opinions on this choice by saying, ‘TikTokers are ultimately just content creators. Since there are people who have worked very hard to become journalists, I view this choice as a work infringement as a journalist. It’s made even harder for us journalists because TikTokers who have a large audience but no previous journalism expertise, can cover events of this nature.’ Maria is disappointed by the change, seeing it as yet another obstacle for journalists entering the industry.
However, Rik Tuinstra, a 26-year-old Dutchman who recently graduated from Thomas More’s international journalism programme and runs a football-related Tik-Tok and Youtube channel, has a different take on the subject: ‘I think it’s a good thing to try. Especially, if there are certain TikTokers who are very famous in different countries so that everybody from that team kind of knows them, I think that will go along.
Rik also shared his view on why certain journalists are against this decision: ‘Whenever a YouTuber would come on a TV show, for example, they would kind of talk down on them as they’re just making videos from their bedroom, not doing anything special. So, I think that’s just a thing where perhaps they don’t understand the world. They’re more scared of it as well because online media and TikTokers, Instagrammers, and YouTubers, could have a huge reach and a huge audience that all news and media are trying to get as well. But they’re not getting it. So, I think it’s a thing where they are scared.’
Time will tell if the choice was the right one and if it will still be in place for future European championships, or the reverse and require a fresh approach to keep up with emerging media trends.
Text: Raúl Pérez
Photo: Malte Helmhold via Unsplash